Georgi Karakhanyan (left) and Patricio “Pitbull” Freire will do battle at Bellator 37. | Photo: Bellator
Freire tipped the scales at 146 pounds for his quarterfinal matchup with Karakhanyan (146) in the Bellator Fighting Championships Season 4 featherweight tournament at Bellator 37 on Saturday at the Lucky Star Casino in Concho, Okla. Those fighters populating the three remaining quarterfinals -- Zac George (145.8) vs. Wilson Reis (145.6), Eric Larkin (145.4) vs. Kenny Foster (145.4) and Daniel Straus (144) vs. Nazareno Malegarie (145.6) -- also made weight without incident at Friday’s official weigh-in.
A Season 2 featherweight finalist, Freire won his first 14 professional bouts before losing a contentious three-round split decision to current featherweight titleholder Joe Warren at Bellator 23 in June. The 23-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt nearly finished Warren with his potent and diverse offensive repertoire inside the first round, only to fall short on points. Freire, who trains with former Pride Fighting Championships heavyweight boss Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, has secured 11 of his 14 career victories by submission.
Karakhanyan last appeared at Bellator 28 in September, when he took a unanimous decision from WEC alum Anthony Leone at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts in New Orleans. The 25-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt operates out of the Millennia Mixed Martial Arts Training Center in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and has rattled off 10 wins in his past 11 outings. Karakhanyan’s lone setback in that span came in a controversial unanimous decision to Warren at Bellator 18. Born in Moscow to Armenian parents, Karakhanyan played professional soccer before his current incarnation as a mixed martial artist. He owns notable victories against EliteXC veteran Bao Quach and Affliction alum Albert Rios. In 17 professional appearances, Karakhanyan has never been finished.
The winner of the eight-man featherweight draw will earn $100,000 in prize money, along with a crack at Warren’s 145-pound crown. Bellator 37 will air on MTV2 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
Karakhanyan (146) vs. Patricio
“Pitbull” Freire (146)
Zac George (145.8) vs. Wilson Reis (145.6)
Eric Larkin (145.4) vs. Kenny Foster (145.4)
Daniel Straus (144) vs. Nazareno Malegarie (145.6)
Roli Delgado (144.4) vs. Jameel Massouh (145)
John Bryant (186.8) vs. Jake Rosholt (185.8)
Jeremy Spoon (143.6) vs. Jerrod Sanders (146)
Brandon Shelton (153) vs. Adam Snook (Will Weigh-in Saturday)
Lorenz Larkin is not a fan of Bellator 183 opponent Paul Daley – and that’s putting it lightly.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
Bellator’s return to its home base in San Jose, Calif., goes down this week, and fans can get up close and personal with MMA superstars.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
Bellator will crown its first female 125-pound champion at Bellator 186 with Ilima MacFarlane vs. Emily Ducote.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
We’ve seen cages and rings in every shape and size, but Bellator will have a special apparatus at Saturday’s Bellator 183 event.Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News read news >>
Not much about Roy Nelson’s technique screams kung fu, but the newly minted Bellator heavyweight is serious about his roots. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
Patricky Freire headlines Bellator 183 against not only a former UFC champion – but also the last guy to beat his own brother. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
The Bellator welterweight title will be on the line in January.Filed under: Bellator read news >>
Rory MacDonald is only one fight deep into his Bellator tenure, but he's already been tapped to challenge for the championship. read news >>
There are certain fights that bring out your inner-fan, and Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin at Bellator 183 is one of them. Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>
When Bellator middleweight Gegard Mousasi heard he’d be fighting ex-champ Alexander Shlemenko, he requested drug testing. Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News read news >>